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25 Jul 2020

The Bizarre times of the 1904 Olympics

The Olympics are always historic events when happen, and when they do not, as is the case of this year, sadly. But even inside the history of the Olympic games, the games of 1904 hold a special place and are known for being one of the most peculiar sports events ever, and today you will know why.


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Back to the Olympics, the 1904 games marathon was one of the most peculiar sporting events in history, almost like it came out of comedy. It all started with an argument over where the games should be held. 


Originally the games were awarded to Chicago, however, the city of St. Louis was going to hold the world’s fair at the same time, and they threatened to organize their own games to overshadow the Olympics if they were not moved to St. Louis. And it worked.


Most of the athletes were American, one character of note was the gymnast George Eyser who won six medals while competing with a wooden prosthetic leg. Throughout the event, the organizers had “Anthropology Days“, which were exhibits where various tribesmen displayed their culture and traditions. Some times they were invited to compete in sporting events to “show how inferior they were” to the “white man.” In reality, this was just a small step above the human zoos that were popular at the world’s fairs.


The infamous marathon was won by Fred Lorz, but he was disqualified for traveling 18 kilometers of the race by car before finishing it. The actual winner was Thomas Hicks, although he had taken performance-enhancing drugs. Specifically, he took strychnine, which acted as a stimulant in small doses.


But things get even weirder. Cuban postman Andarin Carvajal competed in his street clothes and decided to stop at an orchard in the middle of the race where he ate some bad apples and had to take a nap to recover. And he still came in fourth!


Len Tau was the first black African to compete in the Olympic games. He ended up finishing in 9th, but he had a good justification, he ran 2 kilometers out of the course because he was being chased by dogs. Really, we can make a whole article only about the marathon if we want, but for now, at least, this will have to do.



The Olympic games are sure more “normal” these days, but sadly they are not happening this year, however, we have many more great events for you, especially now that the world is recovering.  And make sure to stay tuned to our latest news at the best betting software if you want to always be in the know about the world of sports.

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